I began taking notes based on what I had learned hunting hydras. I also started writing down an outline about fighting goblins. I didn’t have enough for a real book… but maybe a pamphlet or something. There were some things I thought people should know before fighting goblins much. Some basic information had been available, but I thought there could have been more. For that specific dungeon, I could even list a few traps types people should watch out for- and how to do so. Not everyone had a real scout.
I couldn’t advise people to get strong enough to kill goblins in a single hit- but with the right sort of training they could kill the unarmored ones instantly. Goblins weren’t exactly known for their sturdiness. Bosses were an exception of course, and I added some notes about how goblins would still swarm the location after a boss was defeated. I didn’t know how often it would occur, but I also noted the double-boss incident.
As for hydras, my notes were still being formulated. There were a number of things I hadn’t tried on them yet. One big difference was they were fought one at a time instead of en-masse. Thus, instant kill tactics didn’t really work. Someone strong enough to instant kill hydras should probably have moved on to hunting stronger creatures. Outside of battle tactics, there were other important details- like bringing a mule to carry back hydra parts. Sure, it wasn’t too hard to figure that out- but missing out on at least half a trip’s worth of possible income was the price.
The next trip out, in addition to my other things, I carried a spear. I didn’t really need another polearm for combat, but this spear was designed for throwing. Against goblins and other weak monsters that relied on numbers a throwing spear was almost pointless. Nobody wanted to carry all that bulk and weight just for a single kill, or a truly embarrassing failed kill.
There was a bit of trouble with using a bow and a tower shield. It was harder to switch to than just pulling out a weapon, which meant I got less shots off. The spear helped with that at least, it was good for one last attack just as the hydra was closing in.
We faced off against a five-headed hydra. By the time it was close Halette had already taken out a few of its eyes. That rendered some of the heads basically useless, since they didn’t seem to share vision- though a flailing head could still hurt someone if they weren’t careful.
As the hydra approached I pulled out my shield and tossed my spear as hard as I could- at its torso. Unlike attacks from melee I didn’t have to worry about getting hit as I did so. That made it a bit easier to get a good hit, and the spear stuck into its torso. The hydra continued to charge forward, and I held up my shield… and by some significant Luck the spear connected straight on and was pushed deeper into the hydra, and its heart.
“Hmm. That was the shortest fight with the five headed ones yet,” Alhorn commented.
I nodded, “I wouldn’t count on that ever happening again. That said, I think the spear is pretty helpful. It’s good for softening them up.”
“Opening up their scales also makes it easier to zap them,” Kasner noted.
“It would be nice to have more spears, though…” I thought for a few moments, “Sometimes they break. Maybe I could have Hood carry a few.” In fact, they broke fairly often- that happened when a ton or more of hydra flesh fell onto wood.
Our recent trips had been going better- which actually meant less fighting, but it was safer. However, they could still be even better.
One thing that would be helpful would be having a skill for throwing spears. Well, an active skill. It wasn’t an issue to use up some mana if that meant the fight was over- or at least over faster.
I searched Amielas in vain for a few days. It was a decently sized city this season, but it wasn’t anything like the capital which had a good selection of people willing to train others in any sort of skill. I’d even put in a request at the local guild, but to no effect. It couldn’t be helped- it wouldn’t pay as well as active hunting, even if there were the right people in town looking.
I was about to give up, but I realized I had one more option. “Hey, Kantrilla, can you come with me to try to find someone who can teach me a spear skill? I’ll buy lunch!” I had to do something for taking her away from training time- or whatever else she wanted to do with her free time.
“Sure! Let’s go!” Kantrilla smiled happily as we left to look around the city.
I suppose it might have seemed like a date, but there were important differences. I’m not the sort to deny that a man and a woman going out into the city together is probably a date, but that usually has the connotation of fun with it. When going out for purposes of work, it’s not the same.
On the other hand, I didn’t know if people did dates in this world. It probably wouldn’t be in the same way, at least. The essence of spending time with the other person would still be important.
I wondered about that, and thought about how it was embarrassing to be so much shorter- even if I knew it wasn’t really important. Embarrassment did not care if something was important, however.
As I was walking along thinking I almost ran into someone. I would have, if he wasn’t paying attention. I came back to my senses as our clothes brushed each other. Then my eyes registered what they had seen. I quickly turned around to go after him, “Hey! Mr. Spear User! Can you teach me any spear skills?”
The man stopped and turned around, “You need to be strong to use them.” Then he swiveled back to the way he had been facing before and continued down the road.
“Hey! I am strong! Give me a chance to show you!” He wasn’t exactly rude in his assessment but he was rather short. I wouldn’t have kept bothering him, but he hadn’t exactly said ‘no’. Strength, at least, was something I had confidence in.